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Nine reasons why planning consultancy makes a real difference

Aug 30, 2022

By Laura Potts MRTPI, Planning Consultant, CAD Planning

Over the years, CAD Architects has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience in steering projects through the local planning approval process. We know that this expertise could be of real value to our clients, so we have created our own in-house planning consultancy service, CAD Planning.

Planning consultants often operate as ‘one man bands’ and we are one of only very few large architecture practices in the South West to offer in-house planning consultancy. This offers many valuable benefits to our clients.

  1. Up to date knowledge: The planning system is not fixed. It is constantly changing and evolving based on national guidelines, local, and neighbourhood plan priorities. There is a wide range of legislation and policy statements that can impact on planning decisions. Our planning consultants have the specialist skills needed to stay on top of all this information and interpret it accurately.
  2. Clear explanation: The planning system can be very confusing to the layman. Our planning consultants are adept at walking clients through the process and explaining it in plain English. It is always best to involve us as early as possible in the process. Our planning consultants will be able to give you a clear overview of the key challenges that your project might face and the action that will need to be taken to address these.
  3. A strategic approach. There are many variables that can affect a planning decision. And these are open to a wide range of interpretations. Our planning consultants are very skilled at identifying which are the key factors that are likely to impact the decision on your project, and how to demonstrate that you have addressed each of these. Having a clear strategy is vital for giving your project the best chance of moving smoothly through the planning process.
  4. Building positive relationships. Our planning consultants are in constant contact with the local authority and develop positive working relationships with the planning teams. This kind of regular dialogue is vital for understanding what the priorities of the planning team are and how this might affect your application. Negotiating the complexities of local politics is a vital part of the planning consultant’s skillset.
  5. Presenting your best case. Planning decisions are often a matter of balance – weighing of the positives of a particular proposal versus its potential drawbacks. Building a case for your project is an art rather than a science, and it comes with years of experience. Our planning consultants are adept at teasing out the specific benefits of you project and showing how well they meet with the local planning priorities, and reflecting these within the supporting Planning Statement. They understand the key factors that drive a successful application.
  6. Problem solving. In complex planning applications there are often unforeseen obstacles and issues that arrive over the course of a project. Our planning consultants have the expertise and commercial awareness needed to put forward recommended solutions quickly, in order to keep your project on track.
  7. Influencing skills. At times our planning consultants need to challenge the way that the local authority has interpreted planning policy. This requires our planning consultants to be very sure of their ground in terms of legislation and policy, and any recent changes in guidance or appeal decisions. However, it also requires careful diplomacy and skills of persuasion, to ensure that your case gets heard while also maintaining a positive and constructive relationship with the planning team.
  8. Great communication. Our planning consultants are expert at presenting the vision for your project to planning and to other key stakeholders. They are passionate about delivering great results by ensuring that your plans are presented clearly and effectively. For both planning approvals and public consultations, they are also adept at using technology to bring complex schemes to life and show them in the best possible light. They can get the key messages about you project across to town councils, parish councils, local elected Members, and the local community.
  9. Teamworking. Our planning consultants work highly effectively with the other team members and specialists involved in your project. Furthermore, by being based with our architect team they have a constant dialogue about the latest developments in our local area. This constant information-sharing means that their knowledge base is increasing all the time.

When you work with our planning consultants, their clear goal is to achieve the best planning result that they can for your project. Highly experienced at working with developers, commercial clients, heritage properties, and private clients, they combine professionalism with a down to earth working style, in order to deliver outstanding results for our clients.

The success of this approach is demonstrated by our excellent track record with planning approvals.

Get in touch to discuss your planning requirements and how we can achieve the best result for you. Email studio@cadarchitects.co.uk

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